Asia Unbound

Asia Unbound

CFR fellows and other experts assess the latest issues emerging in Asia today.

Latest Post

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the ruling People's Action Party, wearing a face mask, prepares to give a speech at a nomination center ahead of the general election in Singapore on June 30, 2020. Edgar Su/Reuters

Singapore’s National Elections: Will a Pandemic, and a Shifting Society, Lead to a Different Result?

Last week, the Singaporean prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, of the long-dominant People’s Action Party (PAP), declared that the city-state would hold its general election on July 10. Read More

South Korea
Back to Square One for Inter-Korean Relations
Tensions rocketed on June 16 when North Korea demolished a liaison office that had stood as a symbol of hope for improved communications.
China’s Approach to Global Governances Risks a Global Governance Divide
For more than two millennia, Chinese leaders saw their country as one of the dominant actors in the world. This Sino-centrist worldview has in many ways shaped China’s outlook on global governance—th…
India-Nepal Bilateral Relations Slide: Perspective From Kathmandu
India’s relationship with Nepal is at its lowest point since the five-month “Indian Blockade” of 2015. The gap between Kathmandu and New Delhi is widening as India has not been able to keep up with transformations in Nepal and uses old lenses to view its neighbor.
  • North Korea
    North Korea’s Loyalty Test and the Demolition of Inter-Korean Relations
    This week, North Korea’s Kim family dynasty imposed a new test of loyalty on its southern neighbors and found them lacking. 
  • Coronavirus
    Coronavirus in South Asia, June 2020: Cases in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan Spike
    COVID-19 cases continue to rise rapidly in South Asia. For months, South Asia was spared the worst of the pandemic.
  • Philippines
    Maria Ressa’s Verdict: A Capstone for the Collapse of Press Freedom in Southeast Asia
    Yesterday (U.S. time), editor Maria Ressa, one of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines, and indeed in the world—she was selected as one of Time’s people of the year in 2018 and featured …
  • North Korea
    The Illusion of Peace and the Failure of U.S.-North Korea Summitry
    On June 12, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon issued a highly unusual commemorative statement to mark the second anniversary of the first-ever meeting of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and N…
  • Southeast Asia
    COVID-19 Tests Indonesia, and Jokowi
    After initiating large scale social restrictions in early April, in some parts of the country, areas of Indonesia are slowly reopening. Throughout June, authorities will gradually loosen restrictions…
  • Southeast Asia
    Rodrigo Duterte Goes Even Farther in Using COVID-19 to Crack Down
    In recent months, Southeast Asian leaders—and leaders from many other parts of the world—have utilized the COVID-19 pandemic to expand executive powers, crack down on civil society and undermine oppo…
  • China
    Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Cure for China’s Soft Power Woes?
    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has ramped up investment in promoting traditional Chinese medicine abroad while cracking down on critics at home.