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Asia Unbound

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

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shake hands before a ceremony in Canberra, Australia. David Gray/Reuters

Beijing’s Influence Sparks Regional Concern

Over the past year, both the Australian and New Zealand governments have faced reports that the Chinese government has gained influence within their political systems, universities, and media markets. So far only Canberra has responded firmly. Read More

December 4, 2017

Southeast Asia
Reflecting on Pope Francis’s Trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh

There was no way that Pope Francis’s trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh last week was going to be uneventful. The trip came in the midst of a massive spasm of violence in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State—one that the UN’s human rights chief, many rights organizations, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have all called ethnic cleansing. The pope has built a reputation as a defender of the poor, of the powerless, and of refugees and migrants, and so it seemed natural that, in Myanmar and Bangladesh, he would speak out on behalf of the Rohingya.

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December 4, 2017

Rohingya
The World’s Fastest-Growing Humanitarian Crisis

By now the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has resulted in more than 625,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing into Bangladesh just since August 25. Last week, I wrote about Pope Francis’s visit to Bangladesh, and his public interaction with eighteen Rohingya refugees, which helped focus attention on their plight, if briefly.

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December 1, 2017

Rohingya
In Bangladesh, the Pope Has Balm for Rohingya Refugees But No Answers

Earlier this week, Pope Francis visited Myanmar. During his visit there, he did not mention the word “Rohingya” publicly, despite the fact that since August 25, world attention has been focused on the Myanmar military’s ethnic cleansing of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine State.

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