East Asia

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Snapshot,
Alan Greenspan

In today's world of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates, a return to the gold standard seems to be nowhere on anybody’s horizon. Yet gold still has special properties that no other currency can claim -- which is why China is boosting its holdings.

Snapshot,
Joshua Eisenman

Beijing has become less open to foreign businesses, subjecting them to costly fines, denying their mergers, refusing their applications for licenses, and detaining and deporting their managers. And the market has responded: In August, foreign direct investment into China fell by 14 percent from the previous year, following a 17 percent drop in July.

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

In assembling an international coalition to combat ISIS, the United States has looked mostly to the Middle East and Europe, regions that it said face a direct threat from the militant Islamist group. But other parts of the world are just as anxious about ISIS -- above all, Southeast Asia.

Video,

Justin Vogt, deputy managing editor of Foreign Affairs, sits down with Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition. They discuss Chinese spirituality, Beijing's censorship of journalists, and President Xi Jinping's aggressive anticorruption campaign.

Snapshot,
David Brown

Vietnam once hoped to manage China's regional ambitions by showing Beijing deference. But Hanoi now has a new strategy: cozying up to its one-time enemy, the United States.

Snapshot,
Scott Harold

The ongoing dispute between Hong Kong and Beijing is dangerous precisely because it has exposed political and cultural rifts that have been widening for some time. The question of Hong Kong’s 2017 election is only a relatively narrow controversy in a much broader showdown.

Review Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John Osburg

Will Chinese economic development ultimately lead to political development? In his new book, Age of Ambition, the journalist Evan Osnos discovers what might be the missing link: the emergence in Chinese society of a search for dignity.

Snapshot,
Ely Ratner and Elizabeth Rosenberg

The United States will have to face the reality that further Russian isolation might be more costly than it is worth. In particular, further U.S.-led sanctions will start to harm U.S. allies and partners in Asia and, therefore, American interests.

Letter From,
Madhu Narasimhan

In the 12 years since gaining independence, East Timor has struggled in almost every facet of economic and political management. As its neighboring economies boom, it is quietly on the path to becoming a failed state. And it is quickly running out of time to change course.

Snapshot,
Deborah M. Lehr and Leigh Wedell

In early June, Chinese president Xi Jinping deployed eight SWAT-like inspection teams across China to ensure that local officials were meeting his new environmental targets. The teams submitted a 1,000-page report with a simple conclusion: local leaders, looking out for their own financial interests, were consistently ignoring directives from Beijing.

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